For many, ‘social selling’ is synonymous with LinkedIn, to the point of using them almost interchangeably. But social selling is far bigger than LinkedIn alone, and if you are using it in isolation or working in the belief that purchasing LinkedIn Sales Navigator for your team is all it takes to succeed, then you, and more importantly your customers, are going to be left wanting.
To be an effective social seller you need a range of social selling tools, LinkedIn naturally, but you also need:
- Accurate and complete market intelligence – this means pulling in a wide range of data sources from many social media channels, news sources (both local and wider market), financial and corporate information, regulatory and legal information, thought leaders and market commentators
- A complete business view – you need to know what their competitors are doing, what is happening up and down the supply chain, what their partners are doing and what their end customers are demanding
- To track buying signals and identify trigger events – you need to proactively track and have a means of filtering information from across the internet to provide you with timely and relevant insights about what is important to your customers and prospects at any given moment in time
- A wide range of engagement options – you need to understand what good service looks like to each individual customer, how they want to engage with you, and a means of tailoring your approach accordingly
- Accurate lead data – you need to build highly targeted lists from the extensive business data available to you
This does not mean you should stop using LinkedIn altogether, I am simply saying stop working in the belief that social selling is selling using just LinkedIn, and don’t fall into the trap of using it in isolation. LinkedIn is a powerful tool, but it is just one part of your social selling armoury.
Social selling can take many forms and a great social seller leverages every opportunity and discounts none. Look at the bigger picture and harness all the information available from the myriad of social platforms, blogs, news sites, editorial, corporate and financial data. Then use this insight to target, connect and share with customers and prospects more successfully, both within LinkedIn and outside of it.
Want to learn more about LinkedIn for social selling and how you can boost the effectiveness of this popular tool? Then download our latest ebook ‘Social Selling: More than just LinkedIn’.